Inside Slim Pickins, America's First Black-Owned Outdoor Shop
A short documentary by Outbound Collective looks at how and why the shop came to be, and what it represents in the outdoor industry
Opened to foster the emerging outdoor community in the small town of Stephenville, Texas, Slim Pickins is the only Black-owned outdoor outfitter in the country, run by Jahmicah Dawes and his partner, Heather. And like most small businesses in America, the pandemic has left the pair with a crippling amount of debt due to endless days closed and little to no government help.
A new short film by The Outbound Collective works to tell the story of Dawes and his shop and why it's so important to keep open—this is a pivotal time not only for the Stephenville community but in the outdoor industry in particular. There is an emphasis on not just diversifying the outdoors, but diversifying the outdoor industry. This distinction is crucial, says Jahmicah, because "industry" talks about ownership.
In parallel with the film's release is a GoFundMe, established to support Slim Pickins and save the shop from shuttering. The global outdoor community came through big, with many big names and brands in the industry sharing widely on socials, helping the fund to pass $115k in donations in the first few days alone. Though they're not out of the woods yet.
Donate if you can. And don't worry if you can't support with funds—sharing can help support a small business in more ways than you know. And this small business is history in the making.